I find myself torn, as I so frequently am with anthologies, between great enthusiasm and complete boredom concerning this book. Some of the stories I found excellent; some were little more than scenes or prose poems. Most are not what I’ve come to expect from standard steampunk; while there are airships and robotics and alternate histories, there is not the perky heroine and handy, well dressed hero racing through an Indiana Jones type adventure. Many of these stories tackle racism, colonialism, sexism, and class stratification. Many also desert the usual Victorian London or American wild West settings so common in steampunk; we find ourselves in Haiti and Meso-America as well as other places. I applaud the inclusion of these tales that stretch the usual boundaries of steampunk, but some of them could have been a lot more interesting.
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